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Archive for November 28th, 2006

Colchicums

A while ago, before I knew how to upload pictures, I wrote about fall color in my garden.  I am a devotee of perennials in general, and bulbs in particular.

The great thing about planting bulbs is that if you are just a little patient, you will get more bulbs out of the deal.  Of course, that is the bad thing about bulbs, too.  Once they have been in place for a while, you really have to dig them up and separate them. 

Well, actually, this is true of a lot of perennials.  I believe that this may be how some of the small, family operated nurseries began.  Some poor person had a plethora of perennials and couldn’t bear to throw them on the compost pile.  So she potted them up and put a sign by the road:  “Perennials $2.00”  .

Well, I have sucked you into this post because you were interested in colchicums, right?  These are a fall blooming bulb that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.  I say variety regarding the color advisedly, because the variety there runs to pinks, lavenders and whites.

In the spring, they send up a group of strappy leaves that feed the bulb.  Those yellow and get pulled out around the end of May.  All summer, there is nothing where the colchicum bulb is.  You have to remember that it is there so that you don’t accidentally disturb it planting something else there.  They combine nicely with annuals like moss roses or marigolds. 

Then fall comes.  Around there the annual they have been sharing space with dies back in the heat of August.  The whole garden starts shutting down for the winter, except for the asters.  Suddenly a miracle occurs.   Out of the hard bare dirt, the tip of a flower bud pushes forth.

And then they bloom, at a time when nothing so delicate and lacy ought to bloom.

colchicums.jpg

waterlily-colchicum-alba.jpg

waterlily-colchicum.jpg

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